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September 4, 2015

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Bill raising speed limit to 85 mph passes Senate committee

State Sen. Don Gustavson

State Sen. Don Gustavson

CARSON CITY — A bill to raise the maximum speed limit from 75 mph to 85 mph on some stretches of freeways in Nevada was approved today by the Senate Transportation Committee on a 4-1 vote.

Sen. Patricia Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, cast the lone dissenting vote. She said her research shows the fatality rate has increased in states that have raised their speed limits. “I have reservations about safety,” she said.

Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, who offered the bill, countered that accidents have actually decreased where the speed limit has been raised.

Gustavson said the higher speed limit might be allowed on stretches of highways such as Interstate 15 from north of Las Vegas to Mesquite, U.S. 95 north of Las Vegas and Interstate 80 east of Reno.

It will be up to the Transportation Department to decide where to raise the speed limit.

The bill is expected to go before the full Senate for a vote later this week or early next week. It would still need to pass the Assembly and be signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The committee also approved a bill requiring the state Department of Motor Vehicles to include a question on its driver’s license examination about the law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones and texting while driving.

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